Text description provided by the architects. The adidas NYC Flagship is the largest adidas store in the world and debuts the stadium concept—the purest physical manifestation of the brand. The design sets the mark for a completely new retail direction that aligns with their invigorated brand strategy of focusing on their target consumers; this is a space made by creators, for creators.
Armed with adidas’s conceptual direction of “stadium,” Gensler developed a design with the athlete’s journey in mind. By treating New York City as the metaphorical “field of play,” the stadium Flagship provides everything needed to equip the athlete behind the scenes. The design exposes the existing concrete floors and CMU walls, cast-in-place concrete ceilings, and board-formed tunnel and elevator enclosure which highlight the space’s raw NYC character. This, combined with the bold architectural moves, gives power to the concept and evokes an emotional response from the consumer.
The athlete’s journey with adidas begins as the consumer leaves the field of play, and enters the store through the stadium tunnel. The tunnel entrance is flanked by a two-tiered stadium stand assembly that faces out to Fifth Avenue. The stands encourage gathering, watching live broadcasts of games, viewing demonstrations and lectures by the pros, sharing product innovations, and socializing. Whether the consumer moves up or down, they’ll encounter open areas to try on and test shoes and apparel. A print shop in the cellar and miadidas on the third level invites consumers to be creators through customization.
The areas under the stands on either side of the central entry contain the in-store only product, a nutrition bar, and a city map highlighting other must-see spots. Additional elements that tell the story of the stadium concept include the overhead concourse metal-mesh ceiling element that orients shoppers on each floor and ticket booth cash desks with fixed queueing stanchions and large overhead canopies. Adjacent to the fitting rooms are the athlete lounges furnished with locally-sourced vintage pieces and decorative elements that tie back to NYC. Even the restrooms take notes from the local NYC fabric using a combination of CMU block, white subway tile, and red blaze quarry tile for the floors. The spaces are nods to both the high school restroom and the gritty texture of NYC streets.
The flagship design achieves a tangible expression of a creator space and presents a raw manifestation of a high school stadium. Every element within the space has been rigorously challenged to conform to this aesthetic vision, and the culmination of this approach results in a soulful and honest reflection of sport, authentically connecting to the target consumer. Creativity is the primary message that resonates throughout the space, presenting adidas as the facilitator to enable the athlete to create and achieve whatever they put their mind to.